Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 987
Civic Square ACT 2608
Phone: 02 62.. ....
Ecological Community Section
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Lowland Grassy Woodland and Derived Grassland of the South East Corner Bioregion ecological community nomination
Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is a community group dedicated to the conservation of natural temperate grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. FOG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with the conservation of grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FOG’s members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public. While FOG is based in Canberra, a number of our members live in the south east corner of New South Wales.
Most years, FOG visits the far south coast and hinterland of New South Wales to enjoy the native grasslands and grassy woodlands in this area. During these visits, FOG has gained both an appreciation of the diversity and importance of these ecosystems, and of the threats to their continuing survival. In particular, FOG has observed both fragmentation and weed invasion (e.g. fireweed) to be serious threats to these ecosystems. It is also aware of how few patches of lowland grassy woodland and derived grassland remain on public land in the South East Corner Bioregion, and of how small some these patches are. For these reasons, FOG strongly supports the listing of Lowland Grassy Woodland and Derived Grassland of the South East Corner Bioregion as Critically Endangered.
FOG also supports the priority conservation actions in the listing advice, together with the recommendation for a recovery plan. It notes in the listing advice the recommendation that a buffer zone of at least 50 metres be installed from the outer edge of each patch of the grassy woodland community. FOG’s experience with small patches of Natural Temperate Grassland and box-gum grassy woodland is that such buffer zones are essential to help protect the endangered community within the patch. However, this particular recommendation is not included in the priority conservation actions. FOG requests this be rectified.
John Fitz Gerald
16 August 2012